Original Research

Towards a regional ontology of management education in Africa: A complexity leadership theory perspective

Nixon M. Ochara
Acta Commercii | Vol 17, No 1 | a411 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ac.v17i1.411 | © 2017 Nixon M. Ochara | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 24 June 2016 | Published: 07 February 2017

About the author(s)

Nixon M. Ochara, Department of Informatics, Namibia University of Science & Technology, Namibia


Orientation: The title of this critique, ‘Towards a regional ontology of management education in Africa: A complexity leadership theory perspective’, sought to capture a paradox in the prescriptive nature and universalistic leaning of current leadership theories; yet local realities may call for being cognisant of (possible extant) regional ontologies.
Motivation for the study: The argumentation and analysis developed in this article were based on a synthesis of ideas from literature to evolve a preliminary regional ontology for reorienting business and management education relevant for Africa.
Research design, approach and method: The critique was structured on insights from complexity leadership theory. The outcome was a proposition for an Afrocentric regional ontology for strengthening business and management education anchored on four themes: ethical and moral engagement, entrepreneurial leadership, Ubuntu and local National Systems of Innovation (NSI). These emerging ideas were considered to be tentative and should be considered as a foundation to inform further inquiry into how business and management education in Africa can be better interpreted and legitimised in the behavioural sciences.
Practical/managerial implications: From an Afrocentric perspective, conceptualising and maintaining the logic of leadership was considered to be desirable and imperative in evolving a regional ontology of leadership that takes into account local realities. Of course, we recognised that these defining rationalities are not unique to Africa, but that said; a regional perspective that is unique cannot continue to be ignored but should find their place in discourses about leadership in the 21st century.
Contribution/value-add: The synthesis and narrative presented in this paper concisely summarises and provides traction on how to advance business and management education in Africa.



Leadership; Leadership; Network Society; Africa; Regional Ontology;“Big Questions” of Leadership


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